China has become the world’s third largest exporter of arms after the US and Russia.
Chinese exports of major arms increased by 143 percent between 2005-2009 and 2010-2014. Three countries, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar were the main buyers of weapons from China which also exported to 18 African states.
The details come in a new report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute which shows China’s share of global arms exports increased from three to five percent overtaking Germany, France and the UK.
The five biggest importers were headed by India with Saudi Arabia and China some way behind. The top three accounted for 33 percent of total arms imports in the four years to 2014.
The flow of arms to Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania, and the Middle East increased significantly while there was a notable decrease in arms shipments to Europe.
Overall the volume of international transfers of major weapons in the four years up to 2014 was 16 percent higher than in the previous four years.
The data in the report from SIPRI reflects the volume of arms deliveries and not the financial value of the deals. The Institute compares arms sales over five year periods because of large fluctuations in the amount of arms traded year on year.